It's the new year and time to start living up to those resolutions. If one of yours was to quit smoking, then there is no better time to toss out the pack. But that may be easier said than done. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52 percent of smokers tried to quit in 2010 - the latest year for which data was available. And 69 percent of smokers want to quit completely. If you've already tried to quit smoking, you know what you're up against. But think about this - the positive benefits you get from quitting smoking are immediate, long-lasting, and life-changing. Make this the year that you quit smoking for good by using these handy tips.
Get help. When it comes to giving up cigarettes you absolutely cannot and should not try to do it alone. Spread the word to family and friends that you are kicking the habit and ask them to hold you accountable. And steer clear of friends and family that do smoke frequently to avoid temptation. If you can't get support from your inner circle, talk to your doctor or guidance counselor about your plan to quit.
Make a list. Why do you want to quit smoking? For your health? To save money? For your kids? Make a list of the reasons that you are quitting and post it on your fridge, in your bathroom, near your phone, on your back porch, in your car, or anywhere else where you might be tempted to light up.
Set a date. Sure, you could just toss out the pack and try to quit smoking cold turkey. That works for some and it may work for you. But another option is to look at your calendar for the next two weeks and pick up the least stressful - and least tempting - block of time to get started. Have a night out planned with friends? A big test at school? A presentation at work? Try to schedule your quit date around these events so that you can set yourself up to succeed.
Make a plan. Remember that you will have good days and bad days after you quit and be prepared to tackle those bad days with activities to distract you from a desire to smoke. Take a walk, call a friend, chew gum, read a book - whatever it takes to get you past the craving and back on track.
Save up. Every day that you successfully go smoke-free you will save money - anywhere from $2 -$10 depending upon where you live and how much you smoke. Set that money aside for your first few weeks and spend at least some of it on something you would not have been able to afford otherwise. It could be lunch at your favorite restaurant, a massage, or new shoes. Bookmark that money ahead of time and enjoy your reward when you reach your goal.
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